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Motorcycle safety courses offered

As millions of motorcyclists are taking to highways and back roads across the United States this summer, WKU’s Division of Extended Learning and Outreach reminds motorcycle riders that Continuing Education offers courses that address safety issues.

Riders can choose the appropriate course – basic rider or experienced rider — based on their current skill level.

Basic Rider Course

The Basic Rider Course is for non-riders, new riders or someone wanting a refresher course and is open to anyone 16 or older.

Classes for the Basic Rider Course meet on Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central time). The fee is $125. Attendance is required at all classroom and skills hours to successfully complete course requirements.

Upcoming dates for the Basic Rider course are July 10-12, July 24-26, Aug. 7-9, Aug. 21-23, Sept. 4-6, Sept. 18-20, Oct. 2-4, Oct. 23-25, and Nov. 6-8. Courses fill up quickly so contact Continuing Education at (270) 745-1910 or register online.

The course begins with straight-line riding, turning, shifting and stopping and gradually progresses to cornering, swerving and emergency braking. In the classroom students learn about the different types of motorcycles, their controls, and how they operate.

The RiderCoaches are experienced motorcyclists and instructors and are certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. RiderCoaches will advise students on what to wear for comfort and protection and will demonstrate how alcohol and other drugs affect a rider’s ability to ride safely. An important segment of the course will show students how to create a strategy for riding in traffic and dealing with critical situations.

Students successfully completing the course will receive a license waiver for the skill test to obtain a motorcycle license, and some insurance agencies offer discounts for those who have completed the course. Motorcycles and helmets are furnished to each student in the Basic Rider Course.

Required gear for the Basic Course: eye protection; over-the-ankle boots or shoes; long, sturdy slacks; long sleeve shirt or jacket; full-fingered gloves.

Experienced Rider Course

The Experienced Rider Course is for individuals who have a current motorcycle license, have access to a street legal cycle and have riding experience.

The course meets on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. All classroom and skill hours must be attended in order to successfully complete course requirements. The fee for this course is $65. The next date for the course is Oct. 10 or a course can also be scheduled for your riding group by contacting Continuing Education at (270) 745-1910 or cont.ed@wku.edu.

Students will discuss how to balance the mental and physical aspects of safe riding, manage risk, increase visibility and optimize lane position.

The Experienced Rider Course covers protective gear, rider responsibility, motorcycle inspection and care, the effects of alcohol and other drugs on riding, and includes an optional skill evaluation and knowledge test.

Using the student’s own motorcycle, they will put into practice the techniques of managing traction, stopping quickly, cornering and swerving. Some insurance agencies offer discounts for successful completion of the course.

Required gear for the Experienced Rider Course: a street legal motorcycle; riding gear (same as the basic course); a DOT-approved helmet (will be provided if you do not have your own).

For additional information on the motorcycle safety courses or any other courses provided by Continuing Education at WKU, call (270) 745-1910.

Safety messages

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) reminds motorcyclists to follow five critical safety messages:

1. Get Trained and Licensed – Take an MSF RiderCourse (such as those offered by WKU’s Continuing Education) and get licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles.

2. Wear Protective Gear – Wear proper protective riding gear, most importantly a helmet made to Department of Transportation standards.

3. Ride Unimpaired – Never drink or use other drugs before getting on a motorcycle.

4. Ride Within Your Limits – Stay within your personal skill limits, never riding faster or farther than your abilities can handle.

5. Be a Lifelong Learner – Regularly return for refresher riding courses.

Contact: Stacey Biggs at (270) 745-1926.

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